• DAY 232: FINAL DAY IN INDIA…NOW HEADING BACK TO HELP THE BADGERS

    May 20th
    The wild tokay gecko that was being fattened up for sale on the illegal market that I managed to release into the wild.

    The wild tokay gecko that was being fattened up for sale on the illegal market that I managed to release into the wild.

    Damn.

     

    There’s so much I can’t tell you. 

    I can’t tell you about my trip to the far corner of India, I can’t tell you about trying to smuggle myself illegally over the border into Myanmar, I can’t tell you about the stolen bear that I found, I can’t tell you about the very rare gecko that I released into the deep forest (an endangered specimen no less) and I can’t tell you about getting apprehended by separatists….

    I like to think I’m a wanted international agent…but the truth is that I’ve turned over the location of a trapped wild animal to the authorities who need to carry out a suprise raid. Until that goes ahead nothing can be leaked.

    Needless to say you assume I’m making it up. Which of course I may be. But I have the mascara to prove it.  And furthermore I have a very special watch that I used to get secret photos.

    The watch with hidden camera and the button-camera that was used to uncover the trapped animal...that I can't talk about

    The watch with hidden camera and the button-camera that was used to uncover the trapped animal…that I can’t talk about

    The wonderful family I stayed with in Manipur near the border of Myanmar (Burma) that I can't tell you about.

    The wonderful family I stayed with in Manipur near the border of Myanmar (Burma) that I can’t tell you about.

    JUST IN CASE YOU ARE INTERESTED, INSTRUCTIONS FOR AN INDIAN SECRET CAMERA WATCH:

    ” This product is simple, small and exquisite, beautiful and practical, is home security, education, essential areas of life, utility, well all the customers.

    Enter the default camera, sound recording standby mode, after the boot of any state. Save the file and shutdown :long earthquake the machine twice 

    Changing the date: According to the computer configuration or system differences, identify the time of disk is slightly different, please be patient…best not to Jinxing the camera.”

    The endangered wild tokay Gecko.

    The endangered wild tokay Gecko.

    The road to the border where we got apprehended

    The road to the border where we got apprehended

     

    My taxi driver wants my monkey fruit in the correct order.

    For the last few days I’ve been driving around India with a Sikh taxi driver who has been extremely kind and extremely enthusiatic about being a Sikh. Everyday he tells me about his turban and Sikh traditions , which is very interesting. In return I have been telling him about saving animals which he finds equally interesting. Turban – monkey – beard – dog. Rather weirdly he’s also been telling me about his favourite fruit and putting them in order of preference…and quite often getting it wrong

    ‘Mango is number one fruit!’ he calls out whilst swerving through traffic. Then a few moments later:  ‘No – mistake.  Kiwi is number one!’ I wonder how one can get one’s favourite fruit wrong.

    Finally after three days of driving he asked me if I actually liked monkeys.

    ‘Of course I do. Very much’

    ‘Which is number one? Monkey or dog?’

    ‘They are both number one’

    ‘Will you take some home? Monkeys?’

    ‘It might be hard’

    ‘Just go to parliament. They have many monkeys there’ I laughed at his sly political joke. He didn’t smile.  ‘No really, they will give you eight monkeys. You take them home because no one wants them here’

    ‘But I can’t take them on the plane just like that.’

    ‘You can get money by making them dance. People want photos’

    Oh no, I thought. There’s clearly so much work to do out there. Even this lovely man wants me to make monkeys dance.

    But then he said something else: ‘We love monkeys. They are one of our gods’

    And then I realised: nowhere is man’s kaleidoscopic view of animals more colourful – and confusing – than it is in India. They swerve to avoid cattle in the street and then  happily leave a dog dying in the dust. Hinduism, one of the most prevalent religions in India, is rich with its array of animal gods that demand worship and yet on an everyday level there is so much animal suffering ignored on the street.

    Wildlife SOS are doing great work tackling these complex but vital issues in this wild and colourful land – and at the helm is a charasmatic, unpredictable, energetic and surprising invidual in Kartic.

    Support him and the team here. If and when this animal is released I can fill you in on some more adventures.

     

    Back home to save badgers

    I am returning to the UK to work on the crucial issue of the upcoming badger cull – proposed to start JUNE the 1st.  More info to follow

     

    NEXT BLOG: I DRESS UP AS A BADGER AND DIE ON THE LONDON UNDERGROUND IN PROTEST.



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